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misleading. Let me emphasize that they cannot be seen because they cannot be felt. It is our feelings which, rendering us sensitive to only such happenings as concern them, make an automatic choice among the potential experiences offered to us, engraving some upon our mind; rejecting or distorting all the rest; until, whenever effort, and therefore feeling, are strong, the mind presents rather the chart of its own emotions than the image of the surrounding world. Thus with the massacre of the innocents which war has perpetrated: the drowning of those few poor children on the Lusitania has stamped itself on the pitying and indignant Anglo-Saxon soul; while our blockade's slow, steady killing of scores of Central European children, born and unborn, has barely caught the tail of our eye: has indeed been so little noticed as almost to constitute an alibi for our collective conscience. Moreover, as we cannot compare the seen with the unseen, still less weigh what is felt against what is not felt, there comes to be not only wholesale ignorance of one half of the realities, but a consequent lack of comparison, a loss of all sense of scale and proportion. Thus there has not been among either group of belligerents, with the perhaps solitary exception of Mr. Bernard Shaw, any attempt to estimate the special horrors inflicted on invaded or besieged populations as against the general, universal horrors incident to war itself. Indeed, by an irony unperceivable in war-time, the enemy’s “atrocities" have been urged as a reason for protracting the atrocious doings described, for instance by Barbusse in Le Feu," and which, just because part and parcel of legitimate military operations, were far more extensive, continuous and thorough-going than any illegally perpetrated horrors. Wishing to justify its own participation in such things, each nation has been obliged to condemn the enemy and absolve the war, or else add the war to that enemy's sole account. In such manner do war-efforts and war-passions make us see only one side of realities, and see that in wrong proportions and erroneous connexions: the proportions which things bear to our feelings not to one another; the connexions with our hopes, fears, sufferings and struggles, not with whatever has preceded, determined, those things, and whatever they in their turn will produce or determine. Above all, thus does the urgency of self-defence and self-justification foreshorten the relations between aims and means, making the aims bulk clear and huge, the means lose all intrinsic importance; the aim being victory, the means being massacre, devastation, starvation and bankruptcy. Now these things, which we are thus treating merely as means, have an equally intrinsic existence in Reality; and however much we may overlook whatever does not appeal to us as a means to our ends, these disregarded sides continue none the less to act and set up reaction. We think of the Fruits of Victory; granted that they exist, and they do exist at least as pleasures of vainglory and vindictiveness; yet they are only one half of the Reality. The other half are the Fruits of Defeat; and these scatter seed of new wars into the future. But at such moments we do not think of the other side of Reality. For, odd as it may sound, the enemy is not that other side. He is, qua enemy, part of our view; at most, like that raiding airman, one side of reality. The other side of the peoples with whom we have been struggling is precisely whatever, from our side, was not to be seen or felt. The other side of the Germans and Austrians was what did not constitute them the enemy; on the contrary, facing towards themselves, it constituted the friend, the comrade, the beloved and threatened father-land. Odder still, the other side of those people was similar to just that side of ourselves which we felt as the only one existing: the side made up of virtue, heroism, aspirations, sufferings, of everything inspiring love and self-sacrifice. In this way war comes to be an outrage on the Reality of Things. By its initial act of uniting all the naturally incompatible interests (honesty with knavery, wisdom with folly) of one country in aggressive self-defence against another country, and similarly of excluding all the interests and compatibilities existing with the other country, it cuts that Reality in two, hiding one half thereof; and so abolishes in our thoughts Reality’s most essential characteristic, which is that it has no sides, has no divisions, is but one ceaselessly moving, inextricably interacting mass, in whose perpetual inner and outer change every portion impinges on another portion, but never on quite the same; transmitting its motion to another and receiving motion from another in return ; the West prolonging itself into the East, the future rolling back into the present, the present into the past; separations existing only for our feelings. Our feelings themselves are but a minute portion, the most unstable and dependent portion of this universal and ceaseless change and interchange, in which we have our being. And our existence, let alone the satisfaction of those very needs and passions which often distort and always restrict our vision of reality, depends upon the lucid recognition or the intuitive, inherited acceptance of this surrounding otherness; upon our respect for what we may not see and still less feel, but know to be existing: the not here and the not now whose claims will, sooner or later, be brought home to our short-sightedness and egoism. Therefore it is not merely by its destruction of so many lives, of so vast a portion of the wealth required for living, that war—at least a modern war like this one—is an outrage upon life. But rather because war means a hypertrophy of the present and the near-at-hand, leaving in our mind no room for a different past and a different future, for a previous and subsequent, a different self. And such diminution of the field of Reality, comparable with the narrowed vision of him who aims at a target, means a proportionate diminution of what will be our life. Put practically: to-morrow we shall no longer be fighting, or shall be fighting someone else. We shall be needing more food, shelter and clothing, more of such work as can be exchanged for them, hence we must buy and sell. We shall be needing more science and art and social reform; hence we must read and converse and look and listen, wherever there is anything to learn or see. In fact, and all the more for this war's impoverishment and loss of time, we shall require a more active intercourse and barter with all the working, trading and thinking world, of which our recent adversaries are one large half. Such vital exchanges between nations cannot be based (any more than the vital exchanges of our bodies upon poisons) upon the bad, the destructive sides of those peoples which war had turned towards us. Even less upon the bad, the destructive sides of ourselves which war had turned towards them. We must seek, and we must show, the other sides of both. We must reinstate in our thoughts the other aspects of Reality and recognize once more its inextricable intermeshings and its ceaseless give-and-take.
* Also in Clarté. These horrors are not merely those endured by combatants; they are those also of the civil populations whose homes become the battlefield.
In the preceding chapter I have touched upon the question of Aims versus Means, and the utter disproportion between them in our eyes. We see, we feel, our aims with steady intensity because they are part of ourselves, because they are our desire and our effort. We seek our means in what is not ourselves, and therefore interests us only with reference to us. Hence we do not always see or foresee the train of what I call otherness, other circumstances, other results and concomitants, which comes uninvited along with the small portion of Reality wanted for our uses. Put otherwise, every purpose of ours is a loophole through which we get a squint at Reality; but every action is a door by which we issue into it, and, at the same time, willy-nilly, allow Reality to enter and take contact with us. The wider, the less often opened that door, the greater, the more unexpected, the throng, the flood which once let in surrounds, and maybe, submerges, us. Now the vastest gate which a handful of men have ever, at any single moment within record, thrown open upon the unintended, unexpected, the incalculable otherness of things, has been this war. The magnitude of the calamity reduces all discussion of those men's several responsibilities to mere vindictive or selfjustifying childishness. Men's responsibilities do not go beyond their intentions, nor their intentions beyond their habits and powers of thought. That these particular men did whatever they did (and whatever they did was only the last link in the chain of action and reaction), proves that they did not intend or know what they were doing. Therefore in such a context the words guilty or innocent mean only how long or short a time any of these elderly persons will be permitted to survive a mock-trial by his enemies; or else how well or ill each of them shall sleep, thanks to the verdict of his own accommodating or uneasy conscience. But to posterity our present talk about the responsibilities for this war and for its sequelae will afford no interest save as added proof of the inadequacy of our intellectual and moral habits to cope with the vastness and intricacy of the many-dimensional Reality whereof applied science has placed the switch in our ignorant and thoughtless hands. The lopsidedness of view, the lack of comparison and sense of proportion in judgments, we all know in quarrels between individual men, are brought to the highest point by that national unanimity which we have seen to be one of war's most inevitable results and most indispensable instruments. In the case of present war this inherent inadequacy to